Reassigned to minor league camp this afternoon, Jesus Montero hit .375/.444/.625 in just eight at-bats in big league camp. He had a total of one walk and three hits, two of them doubles, but the Yankees don’t need much more to believe in his bat. He’ll open the season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hoping for a call-up that may or may not come before the end of the season.
What was this experience like? Did you feel like this was a chance to get to know these guys in case the call-up comes this season?
Montero: I’ve been here for three years already and everything is feeling really good. Right now I get to know everybody. Now they know me more than a couple of years ago. They know me more than a couple of years ago and I feel a lot better with the team. I’m ready for the opportunity. I’m waiting for the opportunity to be in the big leagues, this year or next year.
You hear all of these questions about staying behind the plate. How important is it to you that you stay there?
Montero: It is important for me because I want to catch in the big leagues. I want to catch all my life. I’m preparing myself for catching. I’m going to try to do my best behind the plate. I’m going to try to help the pitchers all the time. Try to win games… It feels good for me. I’m really happy with my position. For me, it’s the best to be behind the plate.
Is most of what you’re working on right now just the mechanics of the throw to second?
Montero: It’s just routines, trying to do the same thing every day. I’ve been doing that for three years or four years with the Yankees. Everything has been the same. Just try to work a little bit on everything. Blocking. Second base. All of that.
How do you describe your hitting approach?
Montero: My plan is just to hit the ball hard. That’s it. And see what’s going to happen when I hit the ball. I just try to relax and I have confidence, a lot of confidence all the time. I just try to feel good. I try to hit the ball hard, and that’s it.
Do you feel, right now, confident that it’s going to happen, that you’re going to get to the big leagues?
Montero: Oh yeah. I think this year I’m going to be there. I’m going to do the best in Scranton, so this year, I’m going to say, I’m going to be there.